Thinking Anglicans

6 ECUSA bishops comment

Earlier I linked to an American TV report on PBS which included (as TV programmes so often do) tiny snippets from several bishops. They have now published an additional page (hat tip to KH) which contains what appear to be longer extracts from the interviews which they conducted. Here is the page:
Read the comments of six Episcopal bishops after the recent House of Bishops meeting, January 12-13, 2005 in Salt Lake City

The bishops are: Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, Edward Salmon of South Carolina, Mark Sisk of New York, Charles Jenkins of Louisiana, Katharine Jefferts Schori of Nevada and Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold.

Reading these longer remarks (total length around 7000 words) is time-consuming but gives a much better understanding of how these bishops view what has happened so far.


Now that I have read all of this myself, I note that both Bishop Salmon and Bishop Duncan, while making clear their criticisms of the majority, also make some positive comments about the House of Bishops meeting and about the “Word to the Church” statement. Samples of this:

Bishop Duncan:

We had a very good statement come from the House of Bishops today (January 13), but it didn’t promise any action other than to regret what it was that we had done in the Communion by the way in which we did what we did. What a number of us have seen is very clearly necessary was that we actually had to make a statement that says we submit to this, and some of us have done that. This is really all about the rest of the world dealing with the American church, and the rest of the world at this point receives what it is we’ve said today. The words we spoke — they sounded right. Whether the action will follow out of those words is what remains to be seen.

…The statement is better than I would have expected. It at least begins with saying we are deeply sorry for the trouble we’ve caused…

Bishop Salmon:

The Windsor Report is not something that you would have a yes or a no to. There were four significant things that they asked of us, and one of the ones that the English House asked specifically was the issue of moratorium, and what we’ve done is said we will deal with that, but we’re not going to deal with it until March. I think the primates will be looking at what we have decided and draw a judgment on it.

…I think that there was an attitudinal change among a number of people who said, “We do not like what has happened to us and the Communion, and we want to keep the bonds of the Communion,” and that came from people who would be in positions exactly opposite where Bishop Duncan and I would be, who would have voted on the other side. I think that what has happened is that in this space of time, the travail we have gone through has had an effect on people. I think when a number of people in that room said, “We are deeply sorry for what has happened and how this has affected the whole Communion,” there were people on all sides of the spectrum who meant that. I think there was progress there. How that is going to work out, I don’t think anybody knows. But it certainly was different from any House [of Bishops] meeting that I have attended before.

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J. C. Fisher
16 years ago

No accounting of the Bishops’ comments would be complete w/o this gem from Bishop +Edward Salmon: I listened on the 23rd of August to a show that Oprah Winfrey had, and she was interviewing Cameron Diaz, and Cameron was saying, “I don’t have a dog,” and what she meant by that was that dogs were too much trouble. She had a cat. And then the conversation went to relationships, and Cameron said that she was not willing to make a long-term relationship with anybody — I’m paraphrasing now — that she only went this way one time and that she… Read more »

Episcopalian in Louisiana
Episcopalian in Louisiana
16 years ago

What struck me about Bishop Salmon’s comments was the equating of gay and lesbian relationships with promiscuous and irresponsible relationships, as if every single relationship of gays or lesbians is necessarily irresponsible and uncommitted.

Carlton Kelley
Carlton Kelley
16 years ago

When will Bishops Duncan, Salmon, etc. ad nauseum stop worrying about the souls of the members of the GLBT community and start worrying about their own? Exactly what faith is it they believe they are so cruelly guarding?

16 years ago

Thank you for your perceptive editorial comments, which always strike me as more Christian than what most Christian leaders say. I left the Episcopal Church years ago to pursue my sense of call. I have never looked back but I have also never forgot the Truth I learned in the Episcopal Church albeit rarely practiced by its ministers. As a hospital chaplain, I find that I spend a fourth to a third of my time dealing with the pain caused by a patient’s rejection by an institutional church or representative. How sad when God is Father/Mother of us all. Human… Read more »

F. William Voetberg
F. William Voetberg
16 years ago

A quote from Deepak Chopra in the latest issue of Time Magazine seems particularly apropos: “Our image of God is outmoded. Religion has become divisive, quarrelsome and idiotic. Religion is the reason we have all this conflict in the world. We have squeezed God into the the volume of a body and the span of a lifetime; given God a male identity, an ethnic background; made him a tribal chief and gone to war. Yet people are not ready to forsake their image of God.” Under the banner of “Christianity” groups are working to deny gays and lesbians the right… Read more »

Christopher Putnam
Christopher Putnam
15 years ago

Ah, but “Onward, Christian Soldiers” is still in The Hymnal 1982, at #562. Many may think it is gone, because, I dare say, it’s unlikely to have been sung much of anywhere in the last 20 years; that hymn and “I sing a song of the saints of God” were, in fact, almost banished in 1982, but were restored after what seems to have been an epic battle at General Convention. I would commend much of the work at CDSP’s Epiphany West conference which concluded today. ( One of the speakers was Paul Zahl, a noted conservative, and dean of… Read more »

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